Who doesn’t love receiving a gift? 🎁 Even a small gesture is a welcome surprise that can have a big impact, especially when it comes to customer service. 😃
Importing gift certificates is a fast and easy way to create unique, one-time use codes to offer to customers as a way of saying, “Thanks! Come back and shop with us again soon!” 🛍️
For example, you can apply a $5 gift certificate to a customer’s account post-purchase, and then send them a surprise email saying something to the effect of, “Thanks for your business. Please enjoy $5 off your next purchase, applied automatically when you log in!”
These codes can also be used with popular coupon-purchasing sites. For example, customers can pay $10 on the coupon site, and you send them the unique code for a $15 store gift certificate! (To do this, you must have an account set up with the coupon site.)
Create a Test Gift Certificate
You'll need to export the GiftCards table to format a speadsheet for import, but before you can export any table, it needs to have at least one record in it. For information on how to create a gift card, see our article on the topic. Note that you can use any arbitrary values. The whole point is just to make export possible.
Exporting the GiftCards Table
Before you can import gift certificates into your store, you need to export the GiftCards table from your store to get the proper table formatting. When exporting any table from your store, you should only export the columns you need to use. Importing blank columns back into your store will generate an error.
- In your Admin Area, go to Inventory > Import/Export.
- Click Standard Export.
- In the Export From menu, select GiftCards.
- In the Columns section, select GiftCardID, GiftAmount, GiftAmountLeft and Active. If you want the Gift Card to be automatically applied to a customer's account when they log in, you should also export the CustomerID field. You may only want to do this if you are using the gift card as a "thank you" gift (or as incentive) for repeat customers.
- In the File Format dropdown, select CSV - Comma Delimited Text File.
- Click Export.
- Download the file and open it in Excel (or alternative CSV editing program).
Populating the CSV
Now that you have the correct format for your table, you need to add the gift certificate information that you would like to import into your store.
- In the CSV file, fill in the GiftcardID column with 13-character unique Gift Certificate codes.*
*Note: The unique codes can include numbers and letters only. The total number of characters in the GiftcardID field must be 13 characters or you will get an error when attempting to import this information into your store.
Also note that adding gift certificates to your store this way will not link the gift certificates to an OrderID, so you should take note the codes you're adding for your end-of-year reporting and/or accounting purposes.
- In the Giftamount column, fill in the amount for each gift certificate.
- In the Giftamountleft column, fill in the same number as in the Giftamount column.
- If you want to assign the gift card to CustomerIDs (so that they are automatically applied when customers log in), fill in the CustomerID column with numeric Customer IDs. These can be found or searched at Customers > Accounts.
- In the Active column, enter a capital letter Y for all rows. If you don't want the gift certificates to be active until a certain date/time, you can import a capital letter N at first and manually activate all of the gift certificates using another import later.
- Be sure that your file has the same number of rows filled in for each column. Save the file in .CSV format.
Importing the GiftCards Table
Once your CSV file is populated, you're ready to import the information into your store. Be sure that the formatting from your initial export was not changed when you added your gift card information to the file.
- Go to Inventory > Import/Export.
- Click StandardImport.
- In the Import To menu, select GiftCards.
- Select No, Do Not Change Any Records Already in my Database, since you are only adding new gift certificates to your store database (as opposed to updating existing records).
- Click Import.
Once your GiftCards file is uploaded, the Gift Certificate codes will be ready to send out to customers and/or coupon site purchasers.
Depending on how you plan to use the gift certificates, you may want to distribute the Gift Certificate codes in different ways. For coupon promotions, you will want to have the unique codes available for distribution on the coupon site. For customer rewards, the coupon can be already-applied to customer accounts, and will be automatically redeemed with the customer's next purchase (when they are logged in to check out).
In either case, importing the gift certificates is the easiest way to populate your store's GiftCards database. Check out "Coupons / Discounts" to see some other ways that you can offer promotions to all of your customers!